Art Projects International is delighted to celebrate the gallery’s 30-year anniversary with a special exhibition 30 Years: Art Projects International opening March 10, 2023. The exhibition reflects on Art Projects International’s history by highlighting the many artists, exhibitions, and people that have been part of the gallery’s story over the past three decades—from the early years in Soho, with the gallery introducing and providing a platform for artists of diverse international backgrounds, to charting its own path with its move to Tribeca in 1998. The gallery’s founder and director Jung Lee Sanders’ background of living and working in different parts of the world and multi-allegiance to various cultures and world views have been a source of inspiration and guidance for both the gallery and its artists.
Since its founding in 1993, the gallery has presented and organized over 150 exhibitions and featured works by more than eighty artists from around the world. Art Projects International is one of the few galleries founded in New York in the 1990s to focus on contemporary artists from Asia and its diaspora; it has played an important role in bringing to light the stories of significant yet under-acknowledged artists. From its inception, the gallery’s program has been engaged in the presentation of art that should be understood as belonging to the center, as opposed to the periphery, of contemporary art discourse. And the gallery’s long term support of distinctive talents has resulted in the increased inclusion and visibility of their works, many of which have since become part of a living art history and are present in prominent museums and collections around the world.
This anniversary exhibition brings together a selection of exemplary works and new works by an intergenerational group of international artists. With works spanning more than three decades and with a selection of rare archival materials, the exhibition will highlight significant works from important exhibitions at Art Projects International, as well as those placed in collections of note or shown in museum and institutional exhibitions. Also highlighted are important collaborative ventures, group shows, and many previously unpublished photographs of people who have been part of this extraordinary journey.
Included in the exhibition will be Jian-Jun Zhang’s ink scholar’s rock sculpture Ink Rock (2002) that was part of The Fourth Shanghai Biennale at the Shanghai Art Museum in 2002, and a variation of which was featured in Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2013. Also featured will be Gwenn Thomas’ Abstract lll (1993), from her seminal black and white, photo emulsion work on linen works of the 1990s, along with her most recent works—a painting on photographic paper Rare Earth Magnet V (2022), a cast glass sculpture Ingots (2021), and a video Moments of Place (Alcântara) (2018). Among the works by Il Lee will be Untitled 978K (1997-98), a very large black ballpoint ink on paper work from his seminal 978 series of powerful drawings from the 1990s, represented in major collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia). And on loan from a private collection will be BB 04-E (2004), an excellent example of Il Lee’s early blue ballpoint on canvas work that was included in NextNext Art at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (curated by Dan Cameron) in 2004, along with his never before exhibited acrylic and oil on canvas work IY-1601 (2016). Also included will be Pouran Jinchi’s Ruba’iyat Series #5 (1995) and Untitled (Poetry #99-13) (1999), an excellent example from her early poetry paintings series, represented in major collections including Cincinnati Art Museum, along with Jinchi’s intricate and subtle yet bold and direct drawing Night 1 (2011), that was part of the exhibition Dawn, Noon and Night at Art Projects International in 2012—Noon 1 (2011) from this exhibition was acquired by The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Works making their debut are a new painting Contraindication (2023) by David Brody; a grouping of Erik Bakke’s “Platform” monotypes (2022) that feature brightly colored, stylized depictions of a wooden observation platform built by the artist along the Salinas River outside King City, California in 2021; Filipe Rocha da Silva’s wool thread and lace on canvas work Mirza Ghalib (2021) that was inspired by the sufi poet Ghalib; Hans Neleman’s latest paper and mixed media collage Impermanence (2022); Mari Lee‘s new video work Daily Discovery of Present Moment (2020-2023); and Mariano Ferrante’s new large painting Pintura CE 04/22 (2021) from his well-known densely constructed and richly colored Pintura series. Also included are a major pastel on chalkboard work Spring (2013) by Myong Hi Kim; Richard Tsao’s signature “flood room” paintings including Glacier (2004) and Spray (2010); works from Seokmin Ko’s acclaimed photographic series The Square; a limited-edition etching print Roofs (1992) by Soo Im Lee; and works from Yojiro Imasaka’s latest Wet Land series of photographs along with a work from his acclaimed series A Thousand Years.